Are you spending this new year in Lebanon? Consider yourself lucky! A vibrant country with a fusion of culture, Lebanon has something for everyone. With a capital that’s famously been dubbed the “Paris of the Middle East,” you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re looking to say goodbye to 2019 by watching magical fireworks or enjoying a delicious meal with your loved ones, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top recommendations on where to spend New Year 2019 in Lebanon:
1. Place de l’Etoile (Nejmeh Square)
One of Beirut’s most popular public downtown squares, Place de l’Etoile or Nejmeh Square is inspired by its equivalent in France (Place Charles de Gaulle). The square is most recognizable from its historical 1930 clock tower, but it also features the Lebanese Parliament building, mosques, cathedrals, and quirky cafes.
Things to Do
- Place de l’Etoile restaurant
- Rue Maarad Street.
On New Year’s Eve, people from around the world gather at the square to join the festivities. As the clock strikes twelve, breath-taking fireworks take to the skyline for an unforgettable night. Celebrations at Nejmeh Square last year made it to National Geographic’s list of Top 10 NYE Celebrations.
Nejmeh Square is located in downtown Beirut or Beirut Central District (BCD).
2. Martyr’s Square
Martyr’s Square is an iconic landmark in central Beirut that was built back in 1931 as a tribute to the martyrs who were executed by the Ottman rule. It’s a favorite destination with locals and tourists alike, and one of the places that will show you why Beirut is known as a city that never sleeps.
Things to Do
- Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque
- Roman Baths
- Saifi Village.
If you’re looking for another significant spot to watch dazzling fireworks taking over the Lebanese sky, Martyr’s Square is the place to be, the largest square in the city. On New Year’s Eve, there’s the added advantage of having a magnificent Christmas tree in the background. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy the show.
Martyr’s Square is located in downtown Beirut or Beirut Central District (BCD), a 7-minute walk from Nejmeh Square.
3. Le Gray Hotel
Le Gray Hotel boasts a central location in downtown Beirut and offers luxurious facilities to enjoy. It doesn’t hurt that it’s known for its world-class cuisine.
Things to Do
- Explore downtown Beirut
- Indigo on the Roof restaurant
- Gordon’s Cafe.
The rooftop at this luxurious 5-star hotel offers great views of Beirut on New Year’s Eve. You will be located at a vantage point in the city where you can witness the fireworks and light shows throughout Beirut welcoming the new year.
Le Gray Hotel is located in El Shouhada Street, downtown Beirut, only a 3-minute walk from Martyr’s Square.
4. Hamra Street
Known as the Lebanese “Champs-Elysees,” Hamra Street is a must-visit any time of the year. It is home to one of the most prestigious universities in the city, the American University in Beirut, and features a vast range of cafes and restaurants to enjoy. The annual Hamra Street Festival takes place during autumn.
Things to Do
- Multiverse Games
- Barbar restaurant
- Cafe Hamra.
On New Year’s Eve, you will notice Hamra Street shining bright with lovely red and white decorations to welcome the new year. Walking around during this time of year and cozying up in one of Hamra’s unique cafes for a cup of hot cocoa is one of the most serene and laid-back ways to celebrate the new year.
Hamra Street is one of the main streets in Beirut, located in a neighborhood with the same name, Hamra. The street’s technical name is Rue 31.
It’s time to make your New Year celebrations as memorable as possible. Lebanon is the place to be!